Responding to COVID Closures with Digital eCard Access: A County Library Case Study

Wednesday, 9/23/2020
  • 2:00 PM-3:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (Pacific)

Image of books standing on a mobile device with writing utensils next to it

The onslaught of the COVID pandemic has brought significant changes to how libraries offer services to their community, including the ability to allow new cardholders access to e-resources and virtual programs during building closures. As part of its response to the pandemic, the staff at Sarasota County (FL) Libraries accelerated the launch of their digital library card (“eCard”) offering. The library had to reconsider long-standing policies, identify technology constraints and considerations, address issues of service area and availability to non-residents of the county, and determine how to promote the newly available eCard. Working together, the library systems and marketing staff were able to leverage their ILS and marketing platforms to create and launch their eCard within a few weeks of branches being closed to the public.

In this webinar, attendees will learn about the ins and outs of developing and launching digital library cards, including  how to identify goals and patron needs; develop and prepare communication strategies; create policies to meet a rapidly changing environment; determine system issues; and utilize marketing technology to collect performance data and target communication. The webinar will conclude with key learnings from the eCard launch and results of patron activity.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify market audience for digital cards;
  • Understand the benefits and issues of issuing eCards; and
  • Identify and measure key performance indicators associated with issuing eCards and ongoing use.

Who Should Attend

This webinar is intended for library directors and administrators, systems librarians, marketing staff, public services and access staff, and circulation staff who wish to increase their understanding of the topic.


Heather GormanHeather Gorman has worked in academic, public, and school libraries for almost ten years. She is currently the digital services librarian at Sarasota County (FL) Libraries and Historical Resources, focusing on services and programs delivered to public through digital means.

Angela HunekAngela Hunek has worked in libraries for twenty-seven years, seventeen of those as circulation supervisor, then on to technical specialist, and finally ILS system administrator at Sarasota County (FL) Libraries and Historical Resources.

Andrea TaylorAndrea Taylor, technology coordinator at Sarasota County (FL) Libraries and Historical Resources, has over twenty years of librarianship experience. Starting out as a children’s librarian, she has worked in all areas of the public library with the last twelve years focusing on technology and its place in public libraries.

Ted FonsTed Fons is vice president of technology at Patron Point in Dublin, OH. He is a librarian with his MLS from Syracuse University with twenty-plus years serving libraries and the organizations that support them. A globally-recognized expert in library workflows and bibliographic metadata, Ted most recently held the position of executive director of data services at OCLC. Previously, he was a senior product manager and director of customer services at Innovative Interfaces.



Individual – PLA Personal Member $43.00
Individual – ALA Personal Member $59.00
Individual – Nonmember $59.00
Group* $129.00

*For purposes of group registration: PLA defines a group as up to 20 staff from a single library system logging in individually from multiple locations to participate in the live webinar broadcast. It will be the responsibility of the registrant to share the webinar login information with members of their staff who wish to participate. Also, group registration includes access to the archived recording for one year for unlimited staff at a registered single library system.

The registration fee includes access to the archived recording of the webinar for one year. If you register for the live webinar as an individual, then your access to the archived recording is for you alone. If you wish to share the archived recording with multiple people—viewing either on an individual basis or gathered together at one access point—then you must register for the live webinar at the group rate. Neither individual nor group registration includes permission to rebroadcast or redistribute this webinar. Thank you for your cooperation.

How to Register

REGISTRATION FOR THIS WEBINAR IS NOW CLOSED. You'll be able to purchase access to the archived recording of this webinar approximately 4–6 weeks after the live event. Visit PLA On-Demand Webinars for more information.


If you have a physical or communication need that may affect your participation in this webinar, please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752) at least two weeks prior to the webinar. Without prior notification of need, we cannot attempt to provide appropriate accommodations for the live event. Access to closed captions will be provided in the webinar recording.

Personal Data Notification

As a webinar registrant, you will receive follow-up correspondence from PLA specifically related to this webinar (including, but not limited to, instructions for accessing both the live webinar and its archived recording) as well as information about other PLA programs and resources. You may also receive relevant messages from our webinar partner or sponsor (if any). PLA will not sell this webinar’s registration list to any other outside parties. If a webinar sponsor chooses to communicate with you by e-mail, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future e-mails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

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Tech Requirements

This webinar will be presented using the Zoom platform. Please review Zoom technical requirements and support information, and test your connection.

Once you've joined the webinar, there are two ways to connect your audio: via computer (VoIP) or via telephone. No microphone is required. PLA works with its webinar platform provider to assure the highest quality audio is being delivered to attendees. However, variables over which PLA has no control—such as the speed of your Internet connection or traffic on your local network—can affect the end quality of the webinar audio delivered by your computer. Each webinar’s audio is also available by telephone via a toll number, so we recommend you have access to a long-distance enabled phone as a backup in case you experience audio issues with VoIP. If you do encounter any problems during the webinar, you will receive a link to its archived recording within a week of the live event and can review anything you missed.

Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, or CEUs, but will provide a boilerplate certificate of completion for this webinar, which registrants—individuals and groups—can personalize as needed.


Questions about this webinar? Please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).

PLA's call for webinar proposals is now open!

If you have an idea for a webinar you'd like to present for PLA, we encourage you to submit a proposal. The deadline for submissions is November 30. Responses will be sent within 4–6 weeks. Please contact with any questions or concerns about the webinar proposal process.